Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Remember Me??" Part One of Filling the Hole

Wow!  Where to begin!!....For over a year, it has felt like the meal wasn't ready yet.  The eggs still needed to be cracked, the biscuits had another 10 minutes to bake, the oranges were cut but the juice wasn't yet squeezed.
So much was happening but there wasn't yet clarity--clarity enough to write about it.  And, now, suddenly, 100 different things are clear all at once and I'm excited to attempt to communicate them to all three of my followers.

In February of 2015, I received a huge wake-up call as consequences of ridiculous decisions I'd made in response to the inevitable disappointments of life, came home to roost.  It truly gave me pause how severely things went south the moment I began to lean on my own understanding to fill the gaping hole I've drug around with me ever since about middle school.

The message in the wake-up call was this:
This life is not a game.  There is a spiritual war going on for both your life and your capacity to fulfill your purpose for existence--bringing God glory, and if you don't walk closer to God and start acknowledging Him in all your ways, you are on a path to destruction, ruin and shame.

My father is a person who takes heed to the warning that the stove coils are hot. I, on the other hand, have always had to touch them in order to respect their capacity for injury--their potential for disaster. That has always been my personality, but I believe the more I die to self, the more I'll be able to discern the leading of the Holy Spirit and the more I too can submit to knowledge regarding the dangers of hot coils and no longer be compelled to touch them.

At this point, I'll provide some context for all that I have until now been unable to articulate and in subsequent posts, I will attempt to share all the wonderful things I have learned since I've been gone from Meds, Coffee and Prayer.

This leg of my current journey began in November of 2014.  Life had calmed down after the surprise arrival of our son.  Our baby was no longer a baby and we had fallen into a lovely, family routine, with a marital cauldron of unresolved issues simmering at a soft, easy boil just below the surface.
Our last family photo taken in New York.
We had all learned that summer that my husband's mother was suffering from Multiple Myeloma, an incurable but highly treatable form of blood cancer. In November the family determined that we would leave New York and join my in-laws in Louisiana so that my husband could accompany his mother to her chemotherapy treatments.

It was around the 9th of the November.  The children were staying with my parents in Nashville, while we packed our belongings to be put in storage.  We were ecstatic to have two weeks alone with no kids!--alone time we desperately needed.

Barely a day into our working staycation, we received a call in the middle of the night that my husband's father was experiencing renal failure and they weren't expecting him to live. (He would go on to make a full and speedy recovery.)  My husband traveled to be with his father on the first available flight and I remained in NY alone.

It took me two weeks to get almost all of our belongings into a POD.  I brought bedroom furniture and washing machines down from the second floor of our townhouse by myself.  I did almost all of it--by myself.  Marines from 2/25 came in the final two days and helped with what I could not figure out how to get into the POD on my own.

Necessity is one heck of a driving force.
The other thing I did was to prepare for being on my own--emotionally on my own and attention deprived, presumably for the next several months.  I began to fill my own void justifying my behavior saying, "My husband won't have the time or energy for me and this way I'll remain in good spirits and not be an added drain on him--another person needing something from him during this tumultuous time."

The heart is deceitful and wicked above all things (Jeremiah 17:9.) The Bible says I can never truly know how bad my heart is, but I have had a tiny glimpse.

Me and my Shyne leaving Woodbridge, VA en route to Nashville on Thanksgiving Day 2014.
I left New York, picked up our kids and we joined everyone else down in Louisiana.

In February of 2015, I received my wake-up call when everything done in the dark came to light.  That's when my husband and I began doing the work.  The hard work.  That "neither divorce nor misery are options" work.  We had to reach deep and confront the fact that we were terrified of the other smashing our hearts into 1000 pieces.  We had to undo 9 years of fear based love, for the Bible says that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18.)
February 28, 2015.  We were fully engaged in a bloody battle to reestablish our marriage.
We had to abandon all confidence in one another because the Bible says to put your faith in no man (Jeremiah 17:5,) and instead put our faith only in almighty God who never fails and who never disappoints (Psalm 118:9.)

We had to immediately cease trying to "find happiness" or "fulfillment" in the other person, stop expecting the other to do xyz for us, stop looking to feed our own fleshly desires, and instead begin to pray for direction on how to do whatever we did in word or deed, to or for each other, solely for the glory of God (Colossians 3:17.)

We had 9 years of the ridiculous (and oh so unnecessary) baggage that comes hand in hand with leaning on our own understanding.  February 2014 is when we committed before the Lord to make Him our foundation, our middle ground, our final word, our mediator.

He is a God who was faithful yesterday, is faithful today and for every tomorrow and that is why when we look back to February 2014, that couple is unrecognizable.  His way is good and His word is true and the healing and victory that have come through obedience is nothing short of a miracle. To God be all the glory and all the praise.
This is us on December 5, 2015.  You can see the peace on our faces,
the increased comfort level, the joy, the intimacy.
The spark was back and our confidence was in Christ.
It was in March of 2015, that I documented my 21 Day Challenge on YouTube.  In taking heed to the warning in my wake-up call,  I felt compelled or prodded to begin mulling it all over as I sought out the godly path toward self-fulfillment.  (I would later learn that the godly path involves just the opposite--dying to self,)

I began asking myself things like: What made me tick?  What would make this or that better?  What does this mean?....Which evolved months later into--what does the Word say about this?  How can I draw closer and even closer to thee?

And, so, the next however many posts will be regarding the different things I've learned ever since that February period when I chose to serve the Lord in a more meaningful and a more obedient way.


 Until then, may our Precious Lord
bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, 
and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.  Numbers 6:24-26

(Fun Fact: Now you can go back and re-read my previous post "Je Suis Jonah: Spit Me Out, Fish.  My Ninevah Awaits." with the benefit of context.  I wrote it in April of 2015 not long after my wake-up call.)